Wenger: Tottenham dominated Arsenal in midfield

The Gunners sacrificed an early lead to lose Saturday’s north London derby 2-1 and the Frenchman was unimpressed by his midfield and attack, as well as the referee

Arsene Wenger admits Arsenal were overawed and dominated in the midfield battle in Saturday’s north London derby as Tottenham recorded a 2-1 victory over their bitter rivals.

The Gunners took an early lead at White Hart Lane as Mesut Ozil volleyed in superbly, but Spurs responded in the second half thanks to two goals from the in-form Harry Kane.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side dominated possession throughout the contest and Wenger concedes that his team were unable to match Tottenham’s intensity, especially in midfield, and will need to improve to claim a top-four berth.

“It will be difficult and tight, but we know that,” Wenger told BT Sport when asked about his side’s top-four hopes, with Spurs leapfrogging Arsenal in the table.

“It [will be decided by] how we prepare for the next game and how consistent we’ll be. It’s a shame because we scored an early goal and after we just stopped to play.

“We were conscious of that at half-time, to play more, but Tottenham put a good intensity in the game and I think we were dominated in the middle of the park.”

Wenger was happy with the defensive resolve the Gunners showed, despite conceding twice, and felt his side were let down in attack – and by the referee.

“We defended quite well but offensively what we produced was not at our standard and not good enough,” the Arsenal manager, who took charge of his 700th Premier League game, continued.

“Look, for me they created more chances and overall we cannot dispute that they won the game.

“The regret we have is I believe that we gave the goals away – the first and the second – and we put so much effort in, but of course when you put so much resilience in and you lose the game it’s difficult. But we didn’t produce enough going forward.”

On the subject of the referee, he added: “I think we were not very good and the referee was at our level,” before clarifying further, “I don’t think he had a good day.”

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